Chester Morris, college football hero, gets a job on Wall Street for Thelma Todd's father. Fed up with the cons and piracy of Wall Street, he goes into business for himself, highjacking rumrunners' ships bound to Prohibition America.
Delightful film with lots of plot twists and turns.
Director Roland West's last film, after which he planned to spend the rest of his life with the soon-to-be-murdered Todd.
May 4, 2011 Subject:
Alternative description (possible spoilers)
Chester Morris, college football hero... while attending a party to celebrate his team's victory, bumps elbows with Thelma Todd's character, a snotty and snarky entitlement princess, the pampered daughter of a ruthless wealthy industrialist. She actually likes him, and decides the best way to grow him up and make a man of him is to persuade her father to employ him in her father's stock brokerage firm.
When her father fires him for refusing to con some poor widow into trading her good, solid holdings for some bogus stock in a paper company, he replies to the old man's lecture about the place of scruples in the business world by declaring that he can be just as ruthless, but wants to take aim at a better (more deserving) target. This he does by repeatedly hijacking a particular bootlegger's ship, with shipments bound for one specific customer.
At the end of the film, Chester's character returns to boldly tell the old man just whom he has had in his sights, and what he has accomplished in the duration. Realizing just how well the kid has put it over on him, the old man wants to put him in charge of one of his companies, and his daughter (Thelma Todd) wants to marry him. He's grown up, you see, and proven himself to be a better shark than they are.
All of this is presented in an "all American boy makes good" sort of atmosphere. I cannot tell whether the film supports or critiques such values (especially in view of its release date, two years after the stock market crash), but it does not seem neutral about them. For that reason, I am not posting a rating, but instead offering a more detailed description (hopefully without spoiling the film too much).
Reviewer:Dr Feel Rotten
January 13, 2011 Subject:
NO NO NO!
Don't fall for that arrogant walking representation of the C word ya damned fool! What's wrong with these Hooeyweird types anyway? Why do they think the arrogant, snotty, lazy bitch is the right girl just because she can cry? Heck! I can cry and nobody ever made me rich over a couple tears..
That's what's wrong with the world.. We crumble over any pile of crocodile tears Hooeywood sells to us, but when real tragedy strikes we turn away as if it'll soil us if we actually give a rats ass about anyone less fortunate.
Oh well..such is life and we all crap out of the same hole.. rich or poor.
November 28, 2010 Subject:
Not bad for it's time.
This movie kept my interest for the entire hour and thirteen minutes. Well acted for an early talkie, this Prohibition era film, presents a sympathetic portrayal of a rum runner or, "drug dealer" of the day.
The fact that the "hero" is actually hurting other rum runners while committing crimes against them, makes this movie even more interesting. Of course the fact that the Hays Code was not yet being enforced, made possible a sympathetic representation of an illegal substance trafficker.
I can't bring myself to give it a full compliment of stars, but it deserves no less than four.
September 20, 2010 Subject:
This was a quite engaging high seas type adventure story of love and rum-running hijackers.
I too was surprised at how good this one is.
March 23, 2009 Subject:
For some reason, I was expecting this movie to be a flop, but it was great. I had never heard of Morris before I saw him here; he's quite talented. Todd's character is a bit annoying, yet charming.
Don't miss this one guys. Grade A
October 21, 2007 Subject:
Not a bad movie, by any means. The acting is a bit stiff at times, especially from Mr. Morris. Anyway, I enjoyed it on a Sunday afternoon and recommend it as one of the decent oldies that is worth a view on a relaxing afternoon or evening.